California Winery Brokers is a division of Bowman/Hanson, a microcap investment banking firm that offers merger and acquisition services to middle-market businesses valued at between $3 and $50 million.
Selling Your Winery Business
For owners of wineries, we act as exclusive investment bankers, preparing and marketing the business for sale. Our five-phase finely-tuned process generates the optimum price and terms while ensuring the highest level of confidentiality.
We perform evaluations to determine market value for sales and mergers, succession planning, and friendly partner buyouts. Valuation is as much art as science, yet it also is a highly technical field. The ability to judge which valuation method is best suited to a company’s needs and apply it to get an accurate picture of value requires the experience we can bring to the table.
To create an accurate appraisal, one must have an intimate knowledge of the industry in which the appraisal takes place. Business valuation is far more than crunching numbers, which is why we apply our experience as M&A Advisors to every situation.
“If I have a client who wants to sell or buy a business, I will generally turn to Kris Karlson and Eric Bergman for information, both for me and for my client. They’ll provide help without trying to sell services to my clients.” ~ Gary Strutz, CPA, Managing Partner Storek, Carlson & Strutz
Kris Karlson, Founder and President
Kris formed Bowman/Hanson in 1996 to create a more efficient marketplace for privately held middle-market companies, including wineries. Kris, who had more than a decade of experience buying, selling, and financing companies, was disillusioned with the standard intermediary model.
Kris had witnessed too many dashed hopes, broken deals, and misguided valuation expectations; unduly large professional fees; and an overall lack of professionalism. In search of a better way to execute deals, Kris theorized that straight-talking professional advisors versus fast-talking intermediaries were long overdue for the industry. Bowman/Hanson was born with a vision for deals with the end in mind.
In 1986, Kris was recruited from Drake University (in the cornfields of Iowa) to work for Banc of America (B of A) in San Francisco and worked in every department of the investment banking division learning the details from the bottom up.
Kris’ next stop was PGP Industries, where he learned about M & A for privately held companies. Kris ventured inside the beast to understand what acquiring companies are looking for, how they value companies, and, most important, what prompts them to pay a premium. He quickly learned the need to do deals with the end in mind (especially if it is your end that gets kicked if the deal does not work out). This buy-side experience and understanding lends a unique perspective to Kris abilities.
Kris held a similar position with Vulcan Chemical, managing business development and acquisition of privately held manufacturing operations. In between these tenures, Kris launched two technology startups, and experienced firsthand the entrepreneurial thrill of what it takes to make and transition a successful company. Working on hundreds of deals on both sides of fence (public and private, internal and external) gives Kris the unique skill set that’s required to assemble successful deals.
In his personal time, Kris enjoys water skiing in the delta and motor sports. He also is an active mountain climber, snow skier, and mountain biker. Kris graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1986.
Kris volunteers weekly at the River Montessori School. He’s married with two boys, ages 6 and 8, and is actively involved with youth sports, coaching Little League. Kris lives in Sonoma County.
“On a personal level, I like it that Kris doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s got a good sense of humor, and is extremely generous with his time and wisdom.” ~ Pam Hedblad, CPA
Eric Bergman, Bowman/Hanson Principal
Eric brings to Bowman/Hanson a depth of experience in business management, valuation, merger and acquisition, post-merger integration, and commercial real estate investing.
Eric offers an entrepreneurial perspective in working with privately held wineries. Eric’s experience has given him a keen ability to recognize market trends, customer needs, and implement strategies to capitalize on profitable business development initiatives.
Eric previously held several senior level management positions at United Business Media Limited, a leading global business media company. Eric cut his teeth integrating multiple divisions to create integrated media solutions for Fortune 500 companies. As a Group Publisher he researched, developed, acquired, and launched multiple new profit centers within the mobile and Internet space. Eric was instrumental in the acquisition and integration of numerous companies under the United Business Media umbrella.
Eric also co-founded a real estate syndication investment company where he was responsible for evaluating multi-million dollar commercial real estate investments, raising capital from the private sector, and managing the day-to-day operations of a national portfolio of commercial property.
In his personal time, Eric enjoys golf, road biking, snow skiing, and hiking the mountains of Northern California with his family. He also likes attending professional sporting events (one day the 49ers will be back), and volunteering for various youth programs. Eric graduated from Drake University, in Des Moines, IA, in 1986.